Sun | Jul 22, 2018

Boy decapitated on waterslide park

Published:Thursday | August 11, 2016 | 12:02 AM
In this July 9, 2014 file photo, riders are propelled by jets of water as they go over a hump while riding a water slide called 'Verruckt' at Schlitterbahn Waterpark.

A 10-year-old boy was decapitated as he rode a 168-foot tall waterslide at a water park in Kansas, a person familiar with the investigation said Wednesday.

The person, who is not authorised to speak about the boy's death, told The Associated Press that Caleb Schwab was decapitated Sunday on the 'Verruckt' raft ride at the Schlitterbahn WaterPark in Kansas City, Kansas.

IN PHOTO: This June 2016 photo provided by David Strickland shows Caleb Thomas Schwab.

Caleb, the son of a Kansas lawmaker, was in a raft with two women who were not related to him when he was killed on the ride, which is certified by Guinness World Records as the tallest in the world.

The women were treated for facial injuries.

A spokeswoman for the waterpark on Wednesday declined to discuss the circumstances of Caleb's death.

IN PHOTO: This November 2013 file photo shows Schlitterbahn's new Verruckt speed slide/water coaster in Kansas City, Kansas A 11-year-old boy died on August 7.

At least two people who recently rode on 'Verruckt' – German for "insane" – have said nylon shoulder straps came loose during the ride. It's unclear whether the straps played any role in Caleb's death. Police and Schlitterbahn have not provided any other details.

The park said Tuesday that "a limited portion" of the park would reopen Wednesday, but that "Verruckt" will be closed for the rest of the season.

Verruckt riders sit in multi-person rafts that begin with a steep drop, followed by a surge up a second hill before a 50-foot descent to a finishing pool. Each Verruckt rider must be at least 54 inches tall, and the combined body weight of the riders on each raft is limited to 400 to 550 pounds.

Riders are harnessed in with two nylon seatbelt-like straps — one that crosses the rider's lap, the other stretching diagonally like a car shoulder seatbelt. Each strap is held in place by long Velcro-style straps, not by buckles. Riders also hang on to ropes inside the raft.